Van Auken's style is incisive and genuine. He is a rock classicist with a singer-songwriter streak. His propensity for blending rock, blues, folk and country allows the thirteen songs on Soundtrak to move in various directions, while keeping the same destination. "The album is widespread," describes Van Auken, "but the connecting element is the songwriting". Broken down to their essentials, the hooky rock/pop of "High Aspirations," the hard southern rhythm of "Prison Bars," and the wiry crunch of '70's rock on "Fullertown" tell tales of diversity and commonalities as Van Auken adroitly writes his own story, as well as the stories of others.
"I'm more influenced by genres than I am specific performers," explains Van Auken. But even still, it's easy to swamp him with flattering comparisons. Finding a home somewhere in the midst of Tom Petty, Lyle Lovett, Van Morrison and The Faces, Van Auken is somewhat akin to acoustic folk-blues, not quite country, and can rock loud like the best red-blooded Americans. The expressive immediacy of his voice is distinctive and demands attention, calling to mind the soulful songs recorded back in Muscle Shoals, as well as the rock classics heard in his mom's van while growing up.
Van Auken, who lives in Portland, Oregon, is occasionally hired to lend his guitar-playing prowess to the albums of others. He has honed his skills with a willingness to dabble in various musical styles, as well as performing-with equal ease-solo and as a member of various bands. "This album basically runs like a soundtrack of the last five years of my life," says Van Auken. Fortunately for us, Jaycob Van Auken's Soundtrak is set to serve as another spoke in the wheel of rock's revitalization.
Check out the artist's website:
1. High On Aspiration
3. It's Allright
5. Prison Bars
7. Live On
8. Takin' Care of Business
9. Weighed in the Water
10. Ain't Goin Back
13. Last Train